Patients paying higher dispensing fees as pharmacists limit prescription amounts


OTTAWA — A new policy that has pharmacists restricting patients to a 30-day supply of their medications means some people are having to pay dispensing fees two or three times over.

The policy was put in place to prevent drug shortages while manufacturers struggle to produce enough product during COVID-19.

But that means patients who would normally receive 90 days’ worth of prescription medications are now paying the dispensing fee three times instead of one.

Some provinces, like Alberta, have adjusted their co-pay structure for seniors and those without private insurance to offset those costs, but not all.

The Canadian Pharmacists Association, which recommended the restrictions, says it has been working with governments and insurers to address the added burden on patients.

They association says this is the cost of safeguarding Canada’s drug supply, and it should be borne by the federal and provincial governments.


  1. Personally, I think it’s just a very shortsighted cash grab by pharmacies.
    This goes against the stay home policy.

    It will result in three times the foot traffic at pharmacy counters and put more people at risk including pharmacy staff.

    How long before pharmacy owners realize their mistake?

  2. Everything has an effect, while this is a good idea to save on drug supply, it does force 3 times as many people to go out because they need they’re prescriptions.

    • Good point. I am sure random people aren’t getting new prescriptions from doctors just so they can get out of the house. Like a few other edicts coming out from government, this doesn’t seem to be a rational response.
      Why would say a prescription for high blood pressure be something that would be used for someone with the coronavirus?

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